Pro Basketball: NBA should raise the rim a foot to make game more exciting

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Much to my dismay, this year’s NFL season has come to an end. Now, my attention turns to the world of basketball. I prefer the college game over the pros. That could change if the NBA would just follow my simple suggestion.

I think the college games are much more exciting. Most of that is because of the level of participation by the fans who go to the games. Fans at professional games are extremely reserved when compared to the audiences around the country at college games. I’ve never seen pro fans with their bodies painted in their team’s colors. Pro teams don’t have student body bands blasting out music in the stands. College kids and the other fans who go to those games know how to step it up a notch. The pros should take some notes.

Can you imagine Jack Nicholson or Spike Lee wearing one of those solid color full-body nylon suits that are commonplace at college games? It’ll never happen. The pro game has gotten too stuffy. For me, it’s almost mundane to watch an NBA game anymore. The game needs something new to spice it up a bit.

I think I have an answer. I’d like to propose the league raise the height of the rim by a full 12 inches. The current height of 10 feet has become too easy for the majority of players in the league. A slam dunk used to be an exciting play. Now, even the mascots make it look easy. I think if the rim were a foot higher, it would help restore some of the prestige the slam dunk used to command.

It would also provide an extra degree of excitement for shots taken from the field. Imagine a 3-pointer launched at an 11-foot rim. That would be cool.

The pro players have gotten taller, but the rim has remained at the same height forever. Even the diminutive players in the league these days can dunk the ball. If the rim were raised a foot, you wouldn’t see everyone in the NBA and their teammates playing above the rim.

If the league did follow my suggestion, the game might get back some of the excitement that was created by guys like Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan. Those guys brought everyone in the stadium to their feet when they dunked the ball. Nowadays, the only time a fan at a professional game gets out of their seat is to head to the concession stand or to the bathroom.

This idea could easily be implemented and wouldn’t cost a ton of money to do. I think Commissioner David Stern and the league owners would be smart to do something to bring some excitement back to the pro game. Raising the rim might be a very simple way to help them raise the roof. That’s something I think they desperately need. Until that happens, I’ll spend most of my basketball-watching time concentrating on the NCAA.

From the Feb. 8-14, 2012, issue

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